The New York Giants drafted cornerback Chris Williamson in the seventh round in hopes of adding reliable secondary depth.
When it comes to the general outlook of an NFL roster, it’s never a bad thing to employ too much depth at the cornerback position. This notion prompted the New York Giants to add a pair of corners during this year’s draft, including Chris Williamson, a young, raw player out of the University of Minnesota.
Williamson, just like any other NFL athlete, is experiencing an usual offseason amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with no in-person rookie camp, minicamp, or OTAs. It’s a tough situation to be a part of, but tough situations have become the norm as we deal with this worldwide tragedy.
Thus, between these uncommon circumstances along with the inexperience he already possesses, how exactly could Williamson make an impact for the Giants this season?
Well, we know there’s likely no chance he’ll win or even become a legitimate competitor for the starting cornerback job opposite James Bradberry, regardless of DeAndre Baker‘s ultimate fate. If Baker is good to go in 2020, the second-year player will perform in that spot. If he isn’t, Williamson would still have a long way to go towards becoming the No. 1 guy.
So that leaves us with two routes he could take, one of which will be special teams. This will most definitely be his initial path during the training camp and preseason periods. He’ll need this area to prove he’s deserving of a final-roster spot entering the 16-game slate.
As we all know, newly hired Giants head coach Joe Judge worked with New England’s special teams unit for eight seasons. Therefore, he’ll have his eyes on this group during camp.
The other route to possibly earn some playing time will be through the slot corner position. Despite the fact that he’s near the bottom of the depth chart and overshadowed by Julian Love, Corey Ballentine, Grant Haley, Sam Beal, and fellow rookie Darnay Holmes, Williamson will still display a level of competitiveness in the midst of this imminent position battle.
And luckily, he carries one of the more crucial traits for this spot: physicality.
During his 2019 senior campaign, Williamson notched 56 total tackles (fifth on the team), four tackles for loss (fifth), and 2.5 sacks (tied for sixth) through 13 contests. Even more impressive, each of these statistics ranked in the top 10 on a defense that finished among the best in the nation last year.
The Golden Gophers ranked 10th in the country and third in the Big Ten in total defense (306.6 yards allowed per game). They additionally finished ninth in the country and second in the conference in passing defense (184.2 passing yards allowed per game).
Williamson’s overall physicality, which has shown success in the past, could be greatly portrayed in the aforementioned position battle. It may not lead directly to him winning the starting job though. Nonetheless, it would at least give the Giants more of an idea in regards to the type of player they acquired and be beneficial for both his short-term and potential long-term futures in East Rutherford.